When I was growing up, Star Trek was the kind of future we were taught to hope for. A Federation built on cooperation, mutual self-interest, cultural diversity and an enduring commitment to prosperity and peace (except with the Borg – there was no arguing with those guys). So when, in ‘The Wrath Of Khan’, Spock chose to sacrifice himself to save everyone else, his statement, ‘The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’ was presented as a logical conclusion rather than a political viewpoint and we all admired him.
Times have changed. I can’t imagine a Federation future any more. I can only imagine a future in which most of us live less well than we used to while the very wealthiest continue to grow their wealth and their power.
Sounds pessimistic and disillusioned? Take a look at the numbers below and decide what you see. I see a future where the wealth of the world benefits the few and the many are left to compete with one another to escape from or keep out of poverty.
Despite the pandemic and the effects of climate change, average wealth per adultgorew by 7.67.% in 2020 so the average wealth per adult is now at an all time high of $79.952
Global wealth is now $418.3 trillion (a trillion is 1,000,000,000,000).
That wealth is, of course not evenly distributed around the world. For example, the average wealth per adult in the UK is $316.032, almost four times the global average (395%).
Nor is the wealth evenly distributed within a country The UK has 14.5 million people (about one in five) living in poverty. It also has 56 billionaires in 2021, up by nine from 2020. The UK’s 56 billionaires are worth an estimated $213.9 billion, up from $152.9 billion in 2020—meaning U.K. billionaires are $61 billion richer than a year ago (enough to give every adult in the UK $1billion and have the billionaires no worse off than they were in 2020). UK Billionaire wealth has grown by 40% in a year (more than five times the rate of wealth growth globally).